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chefquak's Reviews

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  • Asahi Sushi: Shinjuku (Sushi / Shinjuku)
  • 2013/04/15
  • Read my full review & photos at=http://chefquak.wordpress.com

    arrived Tokyo 9apr2013 & had dinner arranged with my daughter & JH. decided to book a course dinner in a comfortable environment & easy to locate place, so booked Asahi Sushi at 50F, Shinjuku Sumitomo Building. They had a few course menu promotions for the month & great views up there.
    JH & I had the 7-course with kuroge wagyu beef dinner. My daughter had a 10-item sushi moriwase set.
    for the course dinner, we also had a small veg salad with mayo otoshi. The 7 courses were-
    1.hokkaido crab claw with unagi & vinegared pickles (below photo left)
    2.maguro & tai sashimi (above photo middle)
    3.chawanmushi (above photo right)
    4.kinki (japanese delicacy & chef’s favourite here)
    5.kuroge wagyu grilled
    6.8-item sushi moriwase
    7.miso soup
    the veg salad, chawanmushi & miso soup were non-events. the crab & unagi vinegared dish was very tasty. the sashimi were very average even for Singapore.
    the kinki was fabulous. this very sweet tasting fatty fish is like between a cod (not as fatty) & chilean seabass (the latter is my perennial favourite). super!
    the kuroge wagyu was good I guess but kind of underwhelming. I always felt Japanese wagyu were so good they were best eaten teppanyaki or yakiniku style rather than western fine dining style. When Andre Chiang was at Jaan years back, we use to frequent there a bit more. he had this kagoshima wagyu done in this Gordon Ramsay style similar to what’s done here in the above photo. It was good of course but I would much rather have it sizzling hot & with the freshly seared aburi marbling flavour.
    my daughter was not too impressed with her sushi platter (above photo). It had anago, 2 pieces maki, hamachi? (not sure), ikura (these were small & I much preferred the large ones so maybe it was not ikura), tai, aji, prawn, hotate, maguro uni & akamai (lean toro). after I later tried the very good quality sushi at Daikokuya 大?屋 kaiten (conveyor belt) sushi, I had to agree with her that you could get equal or better quality sushi at much lower price but of course ambience and view was a world apart.
    her set also included the vinegared crab dish & miso soup.
    for the course dinner, we had a 8-item sushi platter-maguro, saba, akamai, hotate, amaebi, uni, ikura (small ones) & anago. It was good but same observations as my daughter.
    was the dinner worth it? my daughter’s set cost 2730yen=S$30++. good kaiten sushi not withstanding, S$30++ for a plump, succulent, sweet hokkaido crab claw + 10 piece sushi including akamai, uni, anago, ikura, hotate would really be nothing to complain about in Singapore.
    the 7-course dinner cost 6090yen=S$67++. here with kinki & kuroge wagyu thrown in, I would say it was still a very good set c/w say Kuriya Dining which offer very good monthly S$88++ set but my usual eat at Mikuni would beat this hands down in terms of overall satisfaction if not value of ingredients.
    & that was before factoring in the free view of Shinjuku night skyline, privacy & quiet ambience.
  • Korin: Shinjuku (Yakiniku / Shinjuku)
  • 2013/04/14
  • See my full review, photos & recipes at=http://chefquak.wordpress.com

    returned from another long journey again, this time to Enoshima & Kamakura and another 6 hrs+ walking. usually I would skip lunch to optimise the time for the tour. so I was feeling like treating myself to a good meal. I found this yakiniku restaurant Korin (光琳) near Shinjuku 1-chome.
    It had this very powerful suction chute-not only it rid the place of smoke & smell but the flame rose up when you placed the meat on the metal grill & actually seared & barbeque the meat extremely well ? whatever maillard reaction you needed you could not get better than this.
    They have english & picture menu as in most eats in Japan. Not knowing how the meat standard was relative to the price, I elected to have the special taster set of 5 meats which included 3 types of kuroge wagyu for 1980yen.
    all the meats were good & I enjoyed all of them, especially the 2 very marbled wagyu at the bottom of the above photo. I think high temperature flaming (aburi) whether it was on marbled meat or on oily fish sushi or sashimi (like aburi toro) made a superlative improvement to the already great marbled taste.
    being greedy I asked the waiting staff which menu item this was, & I made another order of this kuroge flank 1180yen for 100g (which you see in the photo at the top of the page). This really was fabulous.
    So my dinner added up to 3160yen nett. you could also order beef tongue, scallop/prawn/seafood & bibimbap here as well as a set of 4 kimchi.
    I was one satisfied customer!
  • Ganso Sushi: Shinjuku (Sushi / Shinjuku)
  • 2013/04/14
  • Read mt full review & photos & many recipes at =http://chefquak.wordpress.com

    I was passing this kaiten sushi (回旋寿司) place on the way to Shinjukugoen to catch remnants of sakura flowering. The first kaiten sushi I tried this trip was kind of disappointing, this fortunately though turned out to be much better.
    Like the other kaiten sushi shops, there was a powdered tea box where you dished out tea powder (I picked the toasted rice tea 玄米茶 ) & added hot water from the tap, and you can help yourself with the pickled ginger (see above photo).
    I ordered the following sushi items-
    uni (sea urchin) ? 262yen
    2xhamachi (yellow tail) ? 2x130yen
    ebi (prawn ? don’t know what type, I only know amaebi, akaebi & botan ebi ? this though was as large as botan ebi) ? 130yen
    ika (squid) ? 130yen
    anago (sea eel or conger eel) ? 130yen
    Total cost = 912yen for 12 pieces, about S$12nett.
    The uni (top photo) was above average, good helping, sweet & not dry but not the very creamy melt in the mouth bursting with flavour kind, definitely good value for 262yen!
    I went back again the next day (13Apr2013) and this time the uni was very creamy & sweet, very good indeed, so do note the freshness & standard may vary a bit.
    The hamachi standard was also inconsistent. The one on the above right photo was excellent. The one of the left was just ok. I could not tell from just looking at them.
    The ebi (prawn) sushi was good. It was large but not as sweet tasting & plump as botan ebi (which is very expensive in Singapore like 3pieces for S$25)
    The ika (squid) was good not great. So was the anago(sea or conger eel). This the cheaper version. I did not take the 262yen ones which were like 2 times the size (in length). maybe I should have!
    It was a really great sushi lunch and at very low cost of just S$12nett
  • Asahi Sushi: 8F Shinjuku Mylord (Japanese Sweets & Cafes / Shinjuku)
  • 2013/04/12
  • Read the full review & recipes etc at my blog= http://chefquak.wordpress.com

    I was early for 2pm check-in at Shinjuku Sunroute Plaza so I decided I might as well have a bite first while waiting for my room. I noticed that there was a Asahi Sushi outlet at Mylord Building when I got out at Shinjuku South Exit which was very near Sunroute so I went back there.
    There was an impressive looking Tokusen sashimi moriwase which meant specially selected mixed sashimi (see photo above) at 1800yen, so I decided to just have that.

    This was what I had-
    5 slices of aji (horse mackerel)
    2 slices of hamachi (yellow tail)
    2 amaebi (sweet prawn)
    2 tai (sea bream or snapper)
    1/2 a awabi =5 slices of abalone
    negitoro (minced tuna belly)
    1 whole slug I ate several times before but didn’t know the name (I found out later name was tsubugai)
    2 centrepiece akamai (lean toro)

    The aji was very good & went very well withe the dash of ginger. We get very good aji in Singapore as well. The hamachi were quite ok but I had much better plump ones before. The tai was average but at least not those with much residue, The amaebi was good.
    The awabi was fabulous (though the photo was not as I was unable to focus well). I had Japanese abalone sashimi before but usually they were a bit tough & chewy. & they were expensive and not great so I wouldn’t usually order them. These were not tough at all & very sweet, a really nice treat!
    The negitoro was also very sweet (I later tried a pair of negitoro sushi at a conveyor belt sushi place & though they looked beautiful they had very little taste).
    the slug thingy (tsubugai) was ok but still a bit tough, never my favourite but quite ok here. and the akamai(lean toro) was also good.

    The 1800 yen price (=S$20++) was really great value for the items offered. There were many other good sets at Asahi Sushi like a good chirashi don for 1490yen. Good Japanese food are a lot more expensive to come by in Singapore on a quality-price comparison.